COMMENTARY | The San Diego Chargers need desperately to separate themselves from the regime that brought them three consecutive missed postseasons, numerous bad personnel decisions and headaches to lots of fans in Southern California.
The Chargers have been a bad football team during that stretch, and the leadership of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner was a major part of the problem. The immense talent they were given was squandered, and even worse, they let it get away from them in the form of departed free agents like Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles and Michael Turner.
With a new era of Chargers’ football set to begin, the Bolts appear ready to turn to the Indianapolis Colts organization to hire two orchestrators of that team’s recent success. Offensive coordinator and interim head coach Bruce Arians and personnel director Tom Telesco are reportedly in line to take over the Chargers’ two vacant positions.
The hiring of Arians may not be the most appealing, but it makes sense. As an interim head coach filling in for the ailing Chuck Pagano, he led the Colts to an impressive playoff berth and was instrumental in their 11-5 overall record. No team played more inspiring football than the Colts in 2012. They weren’t supposed to do what they did and make the playoffs — not with a first year quarterback and young defense.
A Chargers-Arians marriage could do wonders for Philip Rivers and the offense. Arians is known for his ability to work with quarterbacks, and if he could bring in the right system and offensive line, Rivers could be in the conversation among the NFL’s elite once again.
Telesco could be seen as the man pulling the strings, as personnel directors normally handle scouting, identify trade targets from other teams and evaluate talent. Again, the Colts were masterful in this department as well. The Chargers could reap the rewards of the tandem that has proven they can navigate today’s NFL landscape and bring about organizational change.
That’s precisely what the Chargers need.
A big name coach would be a lot of fun to talk about and potentially sell seats, but if team president Dean Spanos wants real, tangible change, he’ll need to look a little deeper. That’s why picking candidates that have done it lately in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately climate in today’s NFL is ideal.
As the talk swirls, the Chargers are ready to enter a new ere, and they may have assembled a player-coach dream team.
Michael C. Jones covers the San Diego Chargers and the NFL. He writes for SB Nation and is also the Editor of Sports Out West.
You can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets